1982 in Review


Nominees that didn’t make it:
5. Gandhi-best sequences linger but it’s far too long
4-1. See below

For Twitter length reviews click here

55. Labyrinth of Passion
The quality of this is truly terrible but it amused me. Probably Almodovar’s worst, though.
Favorite Moment: Airport chase.
54. First Blood
Fills a similar vein as Conan but makes some gestures in the direction of handling PTSD from Vietnam, and there’s definitely a certain impressiveness to watching Stallone mow his way through a bunch of unpleasant cops.
Favorite Moment: The rats.
53. The World According to Garp
A movie with so much misogyny baked into it from the book that it’s a wonder that any of the women come across as human beings. But they do, with most of the direction being so off the beaten path despite the cliches it indulges in that it feels warmly familiar.
Favorite Moment: The piano suicide.
52. Simple-Minded Murderer
Exactly the sort of film Bergman would go for, with a lead whose distorted perspective on the world shapes all of it.
Favorite Moment: The opening.
51. An Officer and a Gentleman
Movie shines the most when we get to see the cast play their characters and reveal a bit about their psyches rather than engage in the military drill scenes or attempt to have chemistry with Debra Winger. Certain B plots are the highlight.
Favorite Moment: Sid’s proposal.
50. Cat People
Can’t touch the original but it uses color wonderfully to evoke the strange set of mind Kinski finds herself in.
Favorite Moment: The rabbit hunt.
49. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
I am not a Star Trek fan (and the one episode of the reboot that I watched was terrible) so for me to praise this movie is high praise indeed even if it very occasionally gets into boring territory. For me to be touched by a funeral for someone I don’t care about is like the rave to end them all.
Favorite Moment: Spock’s funeral.
48. Godard’s Passion
I’m pretty resistant to Godard but this movie is gorgeous and definitely has plenty of interesting ideas wrapped up in it. Also, that ending!
Favorite Moment: The first tableaux vivant.
47. Night Shift
Such a shame that this wasn’t the movie that got a S. Actor nomination for dealing with prostitutes, especially since the hookers in this film have some individual shapes as opposed to Dolly Parton’s backup dancers.
Favorite Moment: The agreement to get the prostitutes to stay on board.
46. Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid
Such a stupid joke but executed amazingly. Shame that Steve Martin couldn’t do more genre riff film series like this and the superior Pennies from Heaven, because there’s a lot of potential in this one even half the joke is within clips.
Favorite Moment: The phone dialing joke.
45. Identification of a Woman
Like L’Avventura where we actually find the body (sort of) and there’s some resolution. Obviously, that’s why this film isn’t a stone cold classic like L’Avventura, but there’s a lot of good stuff here.
Favorite Moment: The lovemaking at the farmhouse.
44. Return of Martin Guerre
Really succeeds on the back of the cast playing everything as blankly as possible so every interpretation of the scenario is possible.
Favorite Moment: The reveal.
43. The Long Good Friday
Has a very 80s take on paranoia but the suspense in this film is held at a brutal simmer until we’re finally dropped from a very high point with no parachute.
Favorite Moment: The final drive.
42. White Dog
This could’ve been a stone cold classic with decent acting, for the cast is unanimously dreadful at pulling off that they understand what racism is, or how to talk to other people. Everything else is truly impressive stuff, from the script to staging.
Favorite Moment: The attack on the set.
41. Francisca
Bizarrely theatrical, heightened, and unforgettably shadowy. Plot is incoherent but who cares when it looks like this?
Favorite Moment: The opening party.
40. My Favorite Year
A typical 80s comedy, with O’Toole’s take on himself and divas dragging it out of its worst moments of Jew jokes.
Favorite Moment: The Clarence Duffy monologue.
39. Frances
Such a bizarre mix of highs and lows that I wouldn’t know where to start. Lange and Stanley are highlights, with the former being a ball of fire that outshines everything else, particularly since her character’s intelligence is respected by the script even if the direction adds things like a fictional lobotomy to undercut it.
Favorite Moment: The opening poem.
38. One From the Heart
Shame that Coppola daring to not do another Godfather type film got him so badly reamed, with this explosion of neon and color being too delightful a watch to deserve hatred.
Favorite Moment: Little Boy Blue.
37. Moonlighting
Grim as fuck, with Jeremy Irons giving the sort of performance that wouldn’t be out of place in a horror movie even with the film skewing kitchen sink drama.
Favorite Moment: The supermarket confrontation.
36. The State of Things
Meandering as hell, but definitely a great take on the filmmaking process and nostalgia, and the ending is bang-on thanks to Allen Garfield’s screaming, dead on eleventh hour appearance.
Favorite Moment: Gordon’s rant in the car.
35. 48 Hrs.
Goes between having no understanding of human interaction and a spot on read of it. Fun to watch either way.
Favorite Moment: The raid on the redneck bar.
34. The Dark Crystal
The protagonists are dire, but the supporting cast is a delightful group of Muppet rejects, and the story/worldbuilding really indicate at what could’ve been if the puppeteers decided to do something with science fiction or fantasy.
Favorite Moment: The stone battle.
33. Une Chambre en Ville
Umbrellas with more forced miserabilism in the ending and less color. This makes it still pretty great albeit not as flawless.
Favorite Moment: Margot gets drunk.
32. Yol
Exhausting to watch but with an anger that shines through. Beautiful looking, too, despite the entire film basically being set in metaphorical prison.
Favorite Moment: The horse being whipped in the snow.
31. Night of the Shooting Stars
Just look at the pretty images when you’re not enjoying the plain but human script. Watermelons, snowglobes, and gloriously green grass/electric blue skies.
Favorite Moment: The snowglobe scene.
30. A Question of Silence
Very straightforward depiction of feminism. Nothing wrong with that, for the mood it conjures up is unsettling.
Favorite Moment: The en masse laughing.
29. Personal Best
Physical in both its athleticism and sexiness. Body fascination, but in the least Cronenberg way possible.
Favorite Moment: The arm-wrestling.
28. Marianne and Juliane
Obliterates the Bechdel Test in how it depicts two fascinating female characters who clearly were raised the same but have nothing in common.
Favorite Moment: The Viennese waltz.
27. Quest for Fire
Doesn’t say a single word but visually masterful, like a silent film with a soundtrack of voices.
Favorite Moment: The bear.
26. Veronika Voss
Maybe my expectations were too high for this one, since Sunset Blvd is my favorite movie and a homage to that sounds like my favorite thing. In reality, it’s just good, with the middle act being a bit muddled in contrast to a strong opening and a good ending.
Favorite Moment: The meeting at the restaurant with the conversation about lights/darks.
25. Sophie’s Choice
Occasionally demands a bit too much from the cast in making the ridiculous shit they do at times believable, but Streep/Kline more than rise to the occasion. MacNicol, not so much.
Favorite Moment: The titular moment.
24. Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains
The sort of movie that should be shown to more young women (and men), for encouraging such a great fuck you to the patriarchal world while being as harmless as can be.
Favorite Moment: The mom’s TV interview.
23. Shoot the Moon
Shouldn’t be forgotten as just a prestige movie, for Finney/Keaton are electrifying in what they throw at each other. The children are all interchangeable but that’s sort of the point, and I’ll forever remember my favorite moment from this one.
Favorite Moment: The Wicked Witch lipsync.

For my Top 25 of 1982 click here.

BEST ACTING (Finalists in bold)
Nominees that didn’t make it (Actor):
None. Good job, Academy!

Nominees that didn’t make it (Actress):
5. Debra Winger, An Officer and a Gentleman-has no chemistry with anyone other than Gere, and that comes in spurts

Nominees that didn’t make it (S. Actor):
5. Charles Coburn, Best Little Whorehouse in Texas-the best part of the film is a cameo, he had a better role same year too

Nominees that didn’t make it (S. Actress):
5. Glenn Close, World According to Garp-not a bad performance at all but I can’t deal with her E-NUN-SEE-AY-SHUN


John Anderson, Ashes and Embers
Gerard Depardieu, Return of Martin Guerre
Albert Finney, Shoot the Moon
Harrison Ford, Blade Runner
Bob Geldof, Pink Floyd-The Wall
Dustin Hoffman, Tootsie-a perfectly unconvincing woman becomes a totally convincing man
Bob Hoskins, The Long Good Friday
Jeremy Irons, Moonlighting
Ben Kingsley, Gandhi-injects the soul that made Gandhi go over so well with AMPAS
Klaus Kinski, Fitzcarraldo
Robert Koltai, The Prefab People
Jack Lemmon, Missing-slowly becomes his best self, but snippishly so
Tomas Milian, Identification of a Woman
Paul Newman, The Verdict-stumbles his way to victory
Phillipe Noiret, Coup de Torchon
Peter O’Toole, My Favorite Year-gallantly befuddled
Jurgen Prochnow, Das Boot
Stellan Skarsgard, Simple-Minded Murderer
Henry Thomas, E.T.

Julie Andrews, Victor Victoria-just plays herself with a bit more snark but that’s exactly what the role needs
Nora Aunor, Himala
Sandy Dennis, Come Back to the Five and Dime…
Mariel Hemingway, Personal Best
Diane Keaton, Shoot the Moon
Jutta Lampe, Marianne and Juliane
Diane Lane, Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains
Jessica Lange, Frances-a ball of fury and wit
Judit Pogany, The Prefab People
Sissy Spacek, Missing-rapidly coagulating idealism
Meryl Streep, Sophie’s Choice-very technical but when it drops, it’s haunting
Barbara Sukowa, Marianne and Juliane
Mary Woronov, Eating Raoul
Rosel Zech, Veronika Voss

Charles Durning, Tootsie
Allen Garfield, The State of Things
Louis Gossett Jr, An Officer and a Gentleman-hardass with soul, distance is felt
Rutger Hauer, Blade Runner
Michael Keaton, Night Shift
Kevin Kline, Sophie’s Choice
John Lithgow, World According to Garp-a lonely human who just so happens to be dealing with the effects of his gender conflicts everyday
James Mason, The Verdict-casual privilege slowly dropped
Robert Preston, Victor Victoria-your dream best friend
Mickey Rourke, Diner
Ray Walston, Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Ellen Barkin, Diner
Cher, Come Back to the Five and Dime…
Danielle Darrieux, Une Chambre en Ville
Teri Garr, Tootsie-broad, but brilliantly layered
Isabelle Huppert, Coup de Torchon
Nastassja Kinski, One from the Heart
Jessica Lange, Tootsie-slowly reveals her own neuroses
Charlotte Rampling, The Verdict
Molly Ringwald, Tempest
Zelda Rubinstein, Poltergeist
Kim Stanley, Frances-blinks away her self-awareness
Lesley Ann Warren, Victor Victoria-her own take on Lina Lamont in a more attention seeking package


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